How To Deal With Negative People For A Happier and More Productive Life

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

What business do negative people have in your life? Why are they there in the first place?

Because you let them hang around. Could it be you hang around them?

What happens when you are surrounded by even just one negative Nellie?

Your whole day, attitude, perspective, and direction changes – for the worse. Before you know it there’s a pattern that goes like this: “I know she’s negative but she has some good qualities, too.” Then, “I can fix her negativity.” Next, “She really isn’t THAT negative.” Lastly, “What? She’s negative? I didn’t notice.”

See what’s happening? You are caught in a trap that soon becomes your story. Picture the rat on the wheel in the cage. Well, guess what? You are the rat. Yuck!

Allowing, keeping and listening to negative people is the worst thing you can do. I speak from personal experience – decades ago! The negative person is childish at heart, low maturity level. When they fail to get what they want they resort to negativity.

What do negative people sound like? Here’s what they say about themselves:

  1. It’s just no use!
  2. It’s going to be another one of those days!
  3. Nothing ever works out for me – it’s just my luck.
  4. I have absolutely no talent.
  5. Nobody likes me – I am such an idiot.
  6. I get sick just thinking about that.
  7. I don’t have the energy I used to.
  8. I never know what to say.
  9. Nobody wants to pay me what I’m worth.
  10. I already know I am not going to enjoy that.
  11. If only I were taller, (thinner, prettier, stronger, smarter…etc)

Here’s what they say to you:

  1. That won’t work.
  2. I thought you said you could do it?
  3. You don’t know what you’re doing.
  4. I told you so.
  5. I can’t believe you did that.
  6. You shouldn’t have done that.
  7. It’s hopeless.
  8. Nobody really wants to help you.
  9. I think you should know . . .
  10. Why do you even bother?

When we hear information the brain decides if it’s true or not. Simple. Easy, right? Not always. When we hear negative statements the female brain decides not only if it is true or not but we begin to try understanding what the statement means.

Our brains spend more time on the negative statements than the positive ones. Sorting, ciphering, explaining, and choosing. This all happens before we act on what we heard.

Why is our process different than mens? Emotions. We consider all angles. We are caretakers. We give second, third and fourth chances (even when it isn’t good for us).

We entertain who will be hurt. We are conditioned to believe our gut reaction is off base. We question our strongest asset – our intuition.

Negative thinking, words and behaviors cripple our mind and spirit. It shapes our mental makeup. Here’s where you have a choice to make. Will you allow anyone to be in your presence who complains, criticizes or nags constantly at every turn? Begin by taking small steps. The ‘anyone’ can even be your best friend (or former best friend), your sister or even your hubby. These can be extremely tough decisions.

Can you remove all negative people from your life? Yes. I did. You can, too!

Learning To Spot the “N-Bomb”


Negativity, or the “N-Bomb,” as I like to call it, is contagious. It’s like a bomb because it has an impact on most everything it touches as well as has “fall out.” It can affect a mood, change a tone, dictate feelings, and cause personal or professional distress.

Seriously, what people think of themselves, their circumstances, or you can affect what you think about yourself, your circumstances, or your thoughts of others. It’s a law of human nature. If you surround yourself with sweet you smell sweet. If you surround yourself with sour you smell sour.

But here’s the difference between negative and positive statements; the negative statements cause the greatest shifts in our thinking and behavior. Not only from good to bad, but bad to worse. Another law of human nature. This has all the trappings of group think.

You see, the opinions of others exert strong influence on your attitudes particularly when their opinions are negative. This impacts your perceptions. When your perceptions are faulty or negative you lose out on life. On the future you are striving to move toward.

So what can you do if you find yourself surrounded by negative people?

Follow these three steps:

  1. Teach yourself to recognize negative people – the words, the actions.
  2. Lower your toleration of negative people – they are not allowed to cross boundaries – at any time!
  3. Dis-invite them from your life – immediately!

Now, some of these (or all of these) may sound a bit harsh. Great! The only sure thing to combat negative people is harsh, no-holds-bar action.

Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the noxious effects of their negativity. This is a sure sign of how much you value you.

[Editor’s Note: Sometimes having the strength to offset a negative person takes a certain level of confidence, self-belief, and empowerment. Learn how to be stronger, self-assured, independent, and more decisive in your daily life. Find out practical and insightful tips to become empowered now. Click here to read more…]

[This is only one of the many powerful articles in this week's Influence It! Real Power for Women free ezine. To enjoy the full issue, jam packed with insightful information on strategies to enhance your personal and professional life to achieve ultimate success, you must be a subscriber. Sign up for your own free subscription NOW by clicking here!]

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